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Polite Speech Situation Question

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Polite Speech Situation Question

Postby Emmychu » Fri 11.05.2010 11:38 am

Hey! This is my first time asking a question here, I'd be really grateful if somebody could maybe help me figure this out!

There is this Japanese-speaking restaurant close to my house that I plan on inquiring about a job at. However, I'm a little worried as to what kind of speech I should use when I go there.

See, for now I plan to go there and maybe place a small order and use it as an opportunity to talk to them and strike up a small conversation. What kind of speech and conjugations should I use? Would I not speak to them more politely if I were to think of them of potential employers? It seems like it would be best to be very polite, but will this make my speaking seem somewhat strange to them if they're just taking my order and serving my food?

What level of politeness would be best to use in this situation? I'm not very good at understanding the different levels of speech and the times they are appropriate yet, and I've heard that being too informal or even too polite is really strange in Japanese. What do you think would be the best way to speak to them? I will probably just speak to a waitress for now, they are a fairly small shop and I don't want to bother them if they are busy.

Thanks for any help, I'm not very knowledgeable on this yet! :)
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Re: Polite Speech Situation Question

Postby NileCat » Fri 11.05.2010 12:09 pm

Sincerity is considered to be the most valuable virtue in Japanese culture. So you don’t need to be too nervous. In terms of the politeness level of the language, you don't need to worry being too polite.
… and I've heard that being too informal or even too polite is really strange in Japanese.

That is true only when you know the person very well. If the person is a stranger (you meet for the first time), you are expected to use polite language, even if you are the person’s customer.
However, in Japanese culture, the virtue of politeness does not necessarily require specific style of verbal expression. We see soul. We listen to the person’s heart.
Good luck! :)
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